13" Ultimate vs. Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cubsfan334, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. cubsfan334 macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    Hey all,
    As my current laptop is on the brink of death and I'll be heading off to college next fall, I'm thinking about simply getting my parents to buy me a new laptop this Christmas. I really like the new air because of its SSD/thinness/lightness, but I'm not sure if a pro wouldn't be better suited to my needs as a college student -- this would be my primary machine. Could I have a few opinions on this?

    I'll probably be majoring in biomechanical engineering, so I'd need to run engineering programs -- I'm not sure how processor intensive those are. Also, I'm not a gamer, but I could see myself playing Call of Duty once in a while if the machine could handle it.

    Can this machine handle photoshop etc? It seemed to slow down slightly during 1080p video playback when I looked at it at Best Buy, but that was the 1.8 ghz model and quicktime isn't exactly the best player. Also, could it drive a 1080p tv?

    Finally, if I were to get the ultimate 13", how 'futureproof' would the machine be? Would I need a new one before I graduate?
  2. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Nothing is future "proof".

    Yes, its likely fast enough to run what you need. Remember its not black and white. Its not like it couldn't run it, its how fast. Faster machine would be faster. But its likely fast enough.

    1080p: it will drive a 1080p TV and much higher resolution monitors. Playing 1080p video completely depends on how its encoded and what you're using to play it. VLC does NOT use the GPU, has to decode using the CPU and is choppy at best. QuickTime does use the GPU and can play 1080p smoothly out to a 1080p display. Even the 1.6ghz 11" can play it smoothly. I have no experience w the 1.4ghz 11" but I assume it can as well since the GPU is handling almost everything.

    No idea on Call of Duty.
  3. rot@ti.org macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2005
    13" Ultimate vs. Macbook Pro

    I purchased my Air as a replacement for my 2007 Pro, and it is entirely satisfactory. The screen is smaller but has the same pixel count and I find I can read everything without making the text larger. The 256 GB SSD is much faster than the 250 GB hard drive and makes up for the slightly slower processor. With 4 GB RAM, I commonly run 15 or more programs at once, including Photoshop, Keynote, Word, and Excel, and don't notice any slowdown that would indicate the computer is having to swap memory.

    I now use my Pro solely as an attachment to my photoscanner, while my Air goes with me everywhere I go. The Air truly is the future of laptop computing.
  4. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    I have a 2010 15'' i5 MBP and also just bought the Air 13''.

    For things like PhotoShop, Call Of Duty, the Air will work but the screen real-estate will limit you. Graphics card is better on the MBP vs. MBA. For a primary machine, the MBA might not be a ideal solution, MBP with perhaps a after-market upgrade on the HDD to SDD would be a great solution. Only thing you give up is weight and thinness, but in return you get bigger screen and much more power.

    It's a give and take.
  5. teski macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    I don't find this to be a problem at all. I use CS5 everyday and with the 1440x900 resolution on the 13" MBA, I don't have any real estate issues with Photoshop.

    To the OP, the Air should totally meet your needs and the lighter weight will be really helpful!

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